Today’s topic will be the up- and downsides of the strong, condemning pep-talks that every now and then appear in the media and stir dashes in every segment of the readers or spectators.
Here comes a quick example: someone writes: „the Hungarian are natural-born slaves, they hate freedom, they drag outliers back”, and so forth, as I remember, this was a quite lengthy essay, with some hard truth, and of course, a lot of poetic exaggeration in it.
Actually, I am quite fed up with ’the Hungarian’ and their exaggerated collective mental disorders and biases, exactly because these are caricatures, the vessels of all the worst stereotypes, so they can do three things:
- they break our hopes: see, this is us. It won’t be better, let’s face the sad truth and stay in the mud.
- they make us angry: how comes that man berates us, why does he think he is better?! This is the main fuel for nationalism – the simplest motivation to be a nationalist is this grudge against all the real and putative insults, or, actually, against the world.
- they make us move on. If these words cause a bad taste in our mouths and recurring in our thoughts, then there is something to work on. It grows clearly urgent, when some people, who took this thought-provoking act as an insult, start to behave like the aforementioned caricatures, so the nightmare starts to come alive.
First of all, let’s pinpoint one thing: who condemns, sees in one direction at the moment. Talks about one subject, nothing else. Does not care about counterexamples, balance, daily life, only the flayed occurrence. Like the shortsightedness and xenophobia of the Hungarian. It exists, but fortunately not that’s the only thing to exist.
These stirring talks have to be handled with a dash of soda. Soda in our case is irony, insight, sense of humor. Mainly insight and a sense of love for life. It does not work in all the cases - there are some examples, where there is no love between the lines. There is nothing to do with this sort of this genre, insults without a spark of love are just stones flying towards our head, we have to lean out of their direction and move on.
But, moving back to our topic: not all of this stuff is a bunch of stupid and malevolent insults. some of them are just thought-provoking. They can provoke thoughts deliberately with their topic, their arguments – or unwittingly, with their blind spots, with the elements we can add to this very harshly colored big picture.
Nowadays this is an important issue for the entire world as sometimes extremists use harsher caricatures as a pretext for killing people and demonstrating power. Like in the cause of Charlie Hebdo: yes, that is a very flippant, often obnoxiously free-thinking platform - anyone remembers the caricatures about the Italian earthquakes? Now that was senseless and I did not understand what to laugh or even scoff at -, with a big dose of quite uncritical, but inherently French kind of Islamophobia, but this can be only the peg to hang the demonstration of power on when it comes to that tragic afternoon when several people were shot dead in the editorial room by an infuriated extremist.
Don’t be hypocrites, don’t be extremists, words – even if spoken words are shot arrows – don’t worth human lives. Words are self-worth and have to be beaten with words. Let’s discuss, even hold a diss, as long as we can learn from it.